37.18 Exercises

Selected answers are available in Sect. D.34. 73

Exercise 37.1 Consider the NHANES data again. In preparing a paper about this study, suppose Fig. 37.2 and Tables 37.1 were produced. Critique these.
A boxplot

FIGURE 37.2: A boxplot

TABLE 37.1: A table of results
Mean Std dev
Current smoker 206.6 46
Current non-smoker 214.64 48.79
Difference 8.03
95% CI 1.25 14.8

Exercise 37.2 In a student project at the university where I work, the students recorded the reading speed for students reading a portion of text, and compared the reading speed for two different fonts. Their RQ was:

Which font allows […] students to read a pangram the fastest, between a default and what is considered to be a ‘easy to read’ font.

In their Abstract, the conclusion was:

The Georgia font was the fastest to be read and is therefore the faster of the two.

  1. Explain why this is a poorly-worded RQ. Rewrite the RQ.
  2. Explain what is wrong with the conclusion given in the Abstract. Rewrite the statement.
Exercise 37.3 In a student project at the university where I work, the students compared the heights that students could jump vertically, starting from a crouch (squat) or standing (counter movement jump; CMJ) position. Every student in the study performed both jumps. Critique their numerical summary (Table 37.2).
TABLE 37.2: The information showing how much higher the (standing) jump height is compared to the squat jump
Sample size Mean Standard deviation Standard error Confidence interval (95%) t value P value
50 7.48 4.674 0.661 6.152 to 8.808 11.316 0

Exercise 37.4 In a student project, the aim was ‘to determine if the proportion of males and females that use disposable cups on [the university] Campus is the same.’ The two variables observed on each person in the study were:

  • Whether or not the person used a disposable cup;
  • The sex of the person.

In reporting the results in their Abstract, the students state:

Based on the sample results, the 95% confidence interval for the population mean number of disposable cups used by males and females is between 0.690 and 1.625. Meaning that the population mean is likely to fall between those two intervals.

Critique this statement.

Exercise 37.5 In a student project, the aim was ‘to determine if the average hang time is different between two types of paper plane designs.’ The two variables in the study were:

  • The plane design (Basic Dart; Hunting Flight);
  • The hang time of the flight of the plane (in seconds).

In reporting the results in their Abstract, the students state:

Very strong evidence proving a difference (\(P = .000\)) between the Basic Dart mean hang time (\(881.84\pm 140.73\)ms) and the Hunting Flight mean hang time (\(1504.19\pm 699.86\)ms). 95% CI for the means of The Basic Dart (\(829.29\)\(934.39\)) and the Hunting Flight (\(1242.86\)\(1765.52\)).

Critique this statement.

Exercise 37.6 An article (Baur et al. 2012) includes this in the Abstract:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 45% of on-duty fatalities among firefighters, occurring primarily in firefighters with excess CVD risk factors in patterns resembling the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn). Additionally, firefighters have a high prevalence of obesity and sedentary behavior suggesting that MetSyn is also common. Therefore we assessed the prevalence of MetSyn in firefighters and its association with cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in a cross-sectional study of 957 male career firefighters.

Baur et al. (2012), p. 2331

  1. Critique Table 37.3.
  2. Critique Fig. 37.3. What would be a better graph to use?
TABLE 37.3: The OR and 95% CI of MetSyn as a function of increasing METS and age (continuous) model 1: unadjusted, model 2 adjusted for age or cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) (METS)
OR (95% CI) \(p\)-value
Model 1
CRF 0.691 (0.634–0.752) <0.0001
Age 1.037 (1.020–1.055) <0.0001
Model 2
CRF 0.693 (0.630–0.762) <0.0001
Age 1.002 (0.982–1.021) 0.8713
A graph like that in the Baur et al. paper

FIGURE 37.3: A graph like that in the Baur et al. paper

Exercise 37.7 A study (Baughman et al. 2007) gave this information:

The aim of our study was to determine the range of 6MWD [6-minute walk distance] in an unselected group of sarcoidosis patients. We performed a prospective study of sarcoidosis patients followed up in one tertiary sarcoidosis clinic.

Baughman et al. (2007), p. 208

Critique the graph in Fig. 37.4 which appears in the paper.
A graph like that from the Baughman et al. paper

FIGURE 37.4: A graph like that from the Baughman et al. paper


Baughman RP, Sparkman BK, Lower EE. Six-minute walk test and health status assessment in sarcoidosis. Chest. 2007;132(1):207–13.
Baur DM, Christophi CA, Kales SN. Metabolic syndrome is inversely related to cardiorespiratory fitness in male career firefighters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012;26(9):2331–7.